State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has called on the Government to come clean over plans to increase public transport costs, after a ‘sensitive’ reform program document was revealed by the Sydney Morning Herald.
The document, which prepared prior to the March State election, shows that $2.1 billion could be saved annually by introducing a “more equitable user-pays framework”.
The document also reveals savings of up to $1.9 billion annually by the “renewal” of the Transport workforce.
The document raises significant questions about the future of public transport in the Hunter with services continuing to be reduced by private operator Keolis Downer across the network.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“This Government seems to be intent on killing off public transport in the Hunter.”
“We have already seen a reduction in the number of services being provided, we have seen a major drop in reliability particularly in the Wallsend electorate, and now we see plans to increase the cost of using this so-called service.”
“People who live on the fringes of the network already pay the most to travel to the CBD, University or one of the major employment centres around the Hunter. Many of them use public transport because our roads are congested and the amount of parking spaces at their destination means parking is almost impossible.”
“Now we see the Government is intent on increasing the cost of their journey, which just slugs the people of the western suburbs again.”
“The documents also revealed reforms and changes to public transport concessions.”
“The Minister, Andrew Constance, has declined to say what proposals from the transport agency the government is likely to adopt but said commuters are his number-one priority.”
“Well Minister, the people in the Wallsend electorate have certainly not been your number one priority. You have failed to listen to any of them when it comes to public transport changes. You have delivered a system that is failing us.”
“The Minister must come clean on his plans for public transport in the Hunter.”